DISCERNMENT: During this period those interested in religious life, and in particular the Mercedarian Order, are in contact with the community’s vocation director. The director helps the individual understand what Mercedarian life and spirit is and how it differs from other communities. They explore the individual’s call from Christ and the possibility that he may be called to Mercedarian religious life. Applications to the Order are not given out until the interested candidate visits the local community in Philadelphia, PA (6398 Drexel Road) for a minimum three day visit. As many visits as possible are encouraged. The community will consider any Roman Catholic man, in good health and moral standing, between eighteen and forty years of age, who at least has earned a high school diploma, and knows that the greatest love one can give is the gift of his own life completely in exchange for the life and freedom of Christians in danger of losing their faith.